Some stores, such as Joann Fabrics and A.C. Moore, have had Christmas items for sale since August or even July.  Most of the major retailers either already have, or expect to have holiday items on display by the end of September.  Each year, the Christmas season seems to start a little earlier to assist those who like to get a jump start on their shopping.  By Thanksgiving 42% of women expect to have started their Christmas gift shopping, despite the great sales that usually begin after Thanksgiving.  In 2010, many major retailers were offering Black Friday deals the week before Thanksgiving, and the same is expected in 2011. 

Victor Fung, chairman of the Li & Fung Group in Hong Kong, expects sales for Christmas 2011 to match 2010.  Li & Fung Group is one of the world’s largest suppliers to major U.S. stores.   Economists are anticipating same or increased sales from 2010.

More shoppers are expected to buy online and take advantage of free shipping and promotions.  The explosion of daily deal sites should boost sales in the 2011 holiday season as many consumers have signed up to receive the daily offers this past year.  Smart-phone owners are expected to use their phones to compare prices, read reviews, and obtain discounts.

If you would like ideas to reduce stress by starting your Christmas shopping early, read our article, Christmas Stress Reducing Tasks to do in the Fall.

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